Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dear Amtrak

Dear Amtrak,

A bus is not a train. If I wanted to take a bus, I'd go to and plan my trip. But I didn't; I went to because I wanted to plan a train trip. To that end, I want:
  1. A list of actual train stations, not bus terminals
  2. A map of train routes and their transfer points
  3. An option on your trip planner to not include bus routes

Look, I'm not stupid; I realize you can't stop in every city. But I don't expect you to. If I'm planning a cruise, I can go to, and they provide me a list of departure ports to choose from. They don't claim to service Omaha, Nebraska and, when I choose Omaha, offer a trip that includes a bus to New Orleans. But that is exactly what your retarded web site does when I try to plan a train trip.

So, please Amtrak, don't make it so damn hard to use your service. With the TSA intent on ogling and fondling our wives and children, you've got a great chance to win the business of concerned middle-class citizens. President Obama even threw you a bone in his State of the Union address. But here's a newsflash: while train travel can compensate for being slow by being nostalgic, bus travel is slow, uncomfortable, and generally un-cool.

So quit hiding behind the transport of last resort, the bus, and take a page from the cruise lines: some of us are as interested in the trip as we are in the destination.